Fielding Ground Balls – Not Major League Fields
Major league players play on immaculately manicured baseball fields. When they do not line ground balls up correctly, they usually get away with it, not to mention they have extra ordinary hand eye coordination with great glove work. It goes without saying, youth baseball fields are not nearly as smooth, or well taken care of as the big league diamonds are.
Because of that, the fielding fundamentals that the major league players get away are not the fielding fundamentals that youth players can get away with. Therefore, it is paramount that ball players line balls up consistently and correctly to avoid fielding errors. Additionally, some inconsistencies exist with baseball coaching, as some very good baseball coaches teach players to line balls up slightly to their glove side, others closer to their throwing side foot and still others, directly in the middle.
I, as many coaches, do a short hop drill with fielders, where coaches flip short hops to the players. The easiest place to catch short hops is directly in the middle of one’s feet.
Best Place to Line up Balls when Fielding Ground Balls
Because of that, it is important to teach players to line balls up equal distant between their feet and right between their eyes. This give players two ways of lining balls up, as well as giving them a little maneuverability in case of bad hops. Finally, it also gives fielders the best chance of keeping missed balls directly in front of them for quick recovery.